Evaluation of warm mix asphalt versus conventional hot mix asphalt for field and laboratory-compacted specimens
A recent joint study by Arizona State University and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) was conducted to evaluate certain Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) properties in the laboratory. WMA material was taken from an actual ADOT project that involved two WMA sections. The first section used a foamed-based WMA admixture, and the second section used a chemical-based WMA admixture. The rest of the project included control hot mix asphalt (HMA) mixture. The evaluation included testing of field-core specimens and laboratory compacted specimens. The laboratory specimens were compacted at two different temperatures; 270 °F (132 °C) and 310 °F (154 °C). The experimental plan included four laboratory tests: the dynamic modulus (E*), indirect tensile strength (IDT), moisture damage evaluation using AASHTO T-283 test, and the Hamburg Wheel-track Test. The dynamic modulus E* results of the field cores at 70 °F showed similar E* values for control HMA and foaming-based WMA mixtures; the E* values of the chemical-based WMA mixture were relatively higher. IDT test results of the field cores had comparable finding as the E* results. For the laboratory compacted specimens, both E* and IDT results indicated that decreasing the compaction temperatures from 310 °F to 270 °F did not have any negative effect on the material strength for both WMA mixtures; while the control HMA strength was affected to some extent. It was noticed that E* and IDT results of the chemical-based WMA field cores were high; however, the laboratory compacted specimens results didn't show the same tendency. The moisture sensitivity findings from TSR test disagreed with those of Hamburg test; while TSR results indicated relatively low values of about 60% for all three mixtures, Hamburg test results were quite excellent. In general, the results of this study indicated that both WMA mixes can be best evaluated through field compacted mixes/cores; the results of the laboratory compacted specimens were helpful to a certain extent. The dynamic moduli for the field-core specimens were higher than for those compacted in the laboratory. The moisture damage findings indicated that more investigations are needed to evaluate moisture damage susceptibility in field.